West's Asleep, The
DESCRIPTION: "While every side a vigil keep, The West's asleep, the West's asleep." The singer laments the "slumbering slaves" in a land that demands Freedom and Nationhood. But a voice announces "'the West's awake!' 'Sing, oh hurra! let England quake!'"
AUTHOR: Thomas Davis (1814-1845) (source: Moylan; Hoagland)
EARLIEST DATE: 1947 (Hoagland)
KEYWORDS: Ireland England nonballad patriotic
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Moylan 115, "The West's Asleep" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 472-473, "The West's Asleep" (1 text)
cf. "The Brink of the White Rocks" (tune, according to Hoagland)
cf. "The Men of the West" (subject: The landing of General Humbert) and references there
NOTES: The 1798 rebellion was a very patchy thing, due in no small part to the arrests of nearly all the United Irish leaders well before it was supposed to come off. The biggest rising, in Wexford, was largely unplanned, but at least it was a rising. There was a lot of stirring in Ulster, though it accomplished very little. Connaught and Leinster, however, saw nothing of any significance at all. Until the French came. This song apparently refers to General Humber's activity (for which see especially "The Men of the West").
The O'Connors, mentioned in the song, were the hereditary kings of Connaught before the Norman invasion.
For the disastrous Battle of Aughrim, see the notes to "After Aughrim's Great Disaster." - RBW
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